It was Mother’s Day in North America yesterday and while most were out celebrating this day with their mother. Someone very close to me hasn’t been on speaking terms with his. Normally they have quite a close relationship so this felt like a bit of a blow to him and as a result, it was a difficult day.
This reminded me of how the dynamic of a mother child relationship can be idealised and skewed. While many are blessed to have a great relationship with their parents, some don’t, or it like others, it goes up and down depending on circumstance. This romanticized perspective is only encouraged by the advertised images of flowers, spa days and brunches in pastel dresses.
Something that has become very clear through time and having seen many stages and forms of motherhood, is they are human. And as imperfect humans she will make mistakes and have vulnerabilities like everyone else. She will have made her decisions based on her own life experience. Sometimes they are right, and sometimes what seems right at the time is wrong for the people around her.
I’ve experienced my version of this when I realised who my parents actually were, but it took time, making my own mistakes and a difficult self realisation that I too, am human. This led to forgiveness. Only then was I able to truly express gratitude for her and my dad.
Here is a throwback to something I wrote about it:
“How do I begin to describe with words the love and gratitude I have for this amazing woman? Growing up Canadian with immigrant parents I never really understood the self sacrifice she and dad made in moving across the globe to a country so different in thoughts, ideas and culture from their own. All for the purpose of stability and paving a bright future for themselves and their family. It would have been extremely difficult to settle in a new environment and raise children knowing they may not understand your own country and culture. I didn’t appreciate the difficulties with this adjustment and took their parenting methods as strict and suppressive. I hold my hands up and apologise for being such an ungrateful brat all those years. With a more mature view, I now understand they did the best they could the way they knew how. I am so grateful for the constant love, guidance and sacrifice they’ve made. My mother has grit, she is a lover and a survivor. Thank you for all you’ve done, I love you to the moon and back.”
I’ve been living in a different city than my own mother for quite some time now, so we didn’t have the chance to have our own brunch in pastel dresses. It was more like a 5 minute telephone conversation, and as she whispered “Thank you for the call, I love you” because of a sleeping infant granddaughter in her arms . We knew this was all we needed, because through time we’ve come to a mutual understanding that we love each other in our own way.
As for my friend, well, he doesn’t know it yet, but he and his mother will make up. And all will be well again in his world. I’ve never been much for pastel colours and brunch, but here is to real life, And a Happy Mother’s day to motherhood in all its forms.
With Love, Flo xx